Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of September 19, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty for these and many more topics from 6-9 am.

Carlos de Andres/Cover/Getty Images


1. Mule Activists (link)

I like animals but sometimes animal activists make me laugh. The latest example comes from right here in Lubbock where Mule Activists have taken to Facebook and to post about their disagreements with a Lubbock Museum exhibit. The exhibit purchased two older mules and euthanized them so they could be included in an exhibit featuring agriculture. You can read Cole Shooter's story here.

I've read many of the comments, and I have to admit some of them are pretty funny. At least to me they are. Why? Because many of the comments go way overboard. For example:

From Elaine:

In a profoundly sad way, these two mules, who worked hard all their lives and then were killed rather than given a safe retirement, is a perfect example of how the industry of American agriculture has long treated equines. Without intending to, the American Museum of Agriculture is memorializing the abuse that equines have long suffered at the hands of those so deeply entrenched in 'agriculture' that they fail to see the inhumanity of their own actions. "The Lubbock Mules" will forever be known as unknowing, unwilling, and innocent martyrs for the cause of protecting at-risk equines from those who would dishonor and disrespect them by needlessly taking their lives.

Martyrs? Really?

From Patty:

Yes I do think it is a good topic to bring into the light and at the same time very sorry it happened. The atrocities that are made against animals by us humans doesn't get any better and to blatantly advertise they are buying 2 mules to kill and stuff is ludicrous.

Atrocities like hunting, and eating I'm sure.

From Jennifer:

Just another reason for me to dislike humans, This is just ridiculous, Period!

And that is just a few of them. Come on folks, they were old mules. I don't think the human race is doomed because of this. If anything, these mules will be admired by thousands of people for years to come instead of dying in the hot West Texas summer.

2. FiveThirtyEight Predicts Democrats Hold Senate (link)

I've always thought that it would be tough for the Republicans to take back the Senate in 2012. The NY Times shows just how tough it may be, though many races are very competitive.

Democrats are now favored to retain control of the Senate when the new Congress convenes in January, according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast, breaking a summer stalemate during which control of the chamber appeared about equally likely to go either way.

An unusually large number of Senate races remain competitive, meaning that a wide range of outcomes are still possible. Republicans have about a 10 percent chance of winning a net of at least six seats from Democrats, according to the forecast, which would give them control of at least 53 seats next year. However, there is also about a 20 percent chance that Democrats could actually gain Senate seats on balance, giving them at least 54. The only thing that seems completely assured is that neither party will control enough seats next year to hold a filibuster-proof majority.

But the odds of a favorable overall outcome for Democrats have increased in recent weeks. The forecast model now gives them a 70 percent chance of controlling the chamber, either by having at least 50 seats and the presidency, or 51 without it.

Although this represents the first official FiveThirtyEight forecast for the Senate this year, I ran backdated forecasts to July 1 based on the polls that were available at that time. Two weeks ago, for example, the model would have given Democrats a 52 percent chance of retaining Senate control — and four weeks ago, it would have given them a 39 percent chance.

The trend toward Democrats is a relatively recent one. Part of the shift may reflect the bounce President Obama received from the Democratic convention. If so, it could recede, especially if Mr. Obama’s poll numbers do so, too.


3. Redistribution of Wealth (link)

This might surprise some people, but President Obama is a fan of redistributing wealth. A new YouTube video even has audio evidence.

Republicans trumpeted news Tuesday of a 1998 audiotape showing future president Barack Obama calling for progressives to “trick” the public into allowing economic redistribution. In that speech, Obama also used some of the same language he’s adopted for the 2012 campaign.

Amid public distrust, “the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution? — because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make to make sure everybody has got a shot,” Obama told a Loyola University audience in October 1998.

Since his ascent to the White House, he has followed a strategy of “pooling” taxpayer dollars into projects, including green-tech programs and cheap mortgages, that promote redistribution, while hiding the costs and risks.

You can hear the audio in the above link. Sadly, many Americans agree with what Obama said. Thoughts?

4. Texas Tech Evaluating Plan (link)

What if someone was to call in a bomb threat to Texas Tech? After seeing bomb threats called in at UT and LSU, Texas Tech is taking a look at their plan.

Within the last week bomb scares were called in at universities in North Dakota, Texas, Ohio and Louisiana.

"You can't let these calls that have gone around whether they are related or not you cant let these calls desensitize you," said Cook.

Chris Cook, Texas Tech Director of Communications said the university is looking at the incidents from last week and using them to improve their own system.

"It is a chance for you to re-evaluate your plan or constantly evaluate your plan," Cook said.  "So it is important that we pay attention, attention to how others respond, how they react, then we go and look at our plan."

Cook said the only way to ensure absolute safety is to take every call seriously, no matter what has been going on at other places.

"Our number one goal is the safety of our community," Cook said. "So you can't brush off any threat. You have to look into it you have to take it seriously until you are able to verify it is a true threat or verify it is false."

Take every call seriously and consult with law enforcement. The only suggestion I have for Texas Tech is to make a decision in a timely manner. That's the only thing I think UT did wrong.

Other Top Stories:

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty. Tune in mornings 6-9am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at